Consolidation of Merchant Mariner Qualification Credentials


The rule, just published in the Federal Register. It is long, it is complicated, but it is.

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard issues this
final rule to consolidate the regulations
covering issuance of merchant mariner
qualification credentials, to reduce the
burden on mariners by limiting the
number of times they need to appear in
person to provide fingerprints and proof
of identity, and to address comments
received from the public in response to
the Supplemental Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, in some cases through
revisions based on those comments.
This final rule works in tandem with the
joint final rule published by the Coast
Guard and the Transportation Security
Administration on January 25, 2007,
entitled ‘‘Transportation Worker
Identification Credential (TWIC)
Implementation in the Maritime Sector;
Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a
Commercial Driver’s License’’.


<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width=“100%” border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style=“BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset”>Saw this press release from the USCG the other day and posted in on the licensing part of the forum

Something new from our friends at the NMC

[SIZE=2]12 Mar 2009 [/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]Merchant mariners in the US will have an easier time keeping together their bulging packet of seafarer credentials, thanks to a US Coast Guard initiative. Seafarers already have to carry up to four separate seafarer credentials: a merchant mariner’s document, a merchant mariner’s licence, a certificate of registry and an STCW card; then there’s the newly mandated TWIC card. Under the new scheme, Coast Guard officials told Fairplay, mariners will be issued a single passport-like book that will contain all documents, licences and endorsements (except the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, but plans are in the works to incorporate that as well). Under the final rule to be published early next week, the new documents will begin to be issued on 15 April. The system will also make applying for credentials easier because an applicant need only be fingerprinted and photographed for a TWIC card. Those biometric characteristics will then be forwarded to the Coast Guard. Captain David C Stalfort, commander of the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center, said it’s important that seafarers tick the “mariner box” when applying for a TWIC, so the Transportation Security Administration “knows to forward the data to us”. [/SIZE]



So does this mean that they’re just going to give us a license to hang on the wall?


Yea right - there’s no way that the coast guard is going to get their act together in time to start issuing this new thing this April. The last thing I had heard about this new MMC was that it was going to come into effect in 5 years or so.


CMA_Decky… Just glanced through the federal register that was posted and it said that the MERPAC comittee recomended that the CG keeps the full size license. The CG disagreed because it does not go along with the idea of consolidating the credentials.

Basically, no more full size licenses.

It says that April 15, 2009 is the implimention date… any idea what action is going to have to be taken, costs involved. I would hate to have to pay for a new credential seeing as how I have yet to even use my MMD!


I’ve got a license renewal in to NMC now, maybe I’ll get the new “book” back instead of the MMD/STCW/License. So now we’ll have to carry the Book, the TWIC and a RADAR cert!!?? I still will carry my 3-ring binder of school certs just for GP.


What about your GMDSS Operators License?

Sounds Like the all knowing Cavo could clue us in, how about Mr. Cavo? Please inform us, you seem to be one of the only people who has the right answers about whats going on with the NMC.
Thanks for your help in advance!


My GMDSS license is in the 3-ring binder, it’s also stated on the the STCW which will now be part of the “New Book”?! Really, I hope I get issued this Book thing cuz I’m curious to see it first hand.


On the bottom of the FCC license is a card version which all you have to do is cut off and have laminated. Works just like the big one.


A brief rundown:

  1. The MMC will replace [B]ALL[/B] (repeat ALL) CG-issued licenses, endorsements, documents & STCW letters with a passport-like book. It will be phased in over a 5-year period starting April 15th of this year. When you come up for renewal you’ll get it. You don’t have to get it before then.

  2. Despite the expressed desire of many mariners to keep it, the CG couldn’t be bothered and the traditional license is history. Done. You can’t even get it as an option, even if it’s your first issue.

  3. No, it does not include your FCC license. But FCC marine radio operator permits and GMDSS licenses no longer expire anyway.

  4. No, it does not replace your TWIC.

Click [B]here[/B] to read more about it at the MTVA Forum and see the final rule and all the supporting documents.


I was referring to the all in one book, if its supposed to be all in one them it should be.
I really like having the [U]real[/U] License, but that’s only my opinion.

I am just afraid that this book will be rushed through, and it will left up to us (the people who us it) to workout the details and deal with the problems that history tells us will come with it.
Will we no longer have to post a copy in the wheelhouse? I can imagine that it could be hard to do.
Why is the USCG and there new helpful NMC not putting out some more detailed information on this major change?


God damnit, now after four years of (semi) hard work I’m going to be handed a passport instead of a nice license. Just what I wanted.


HA! What about the requirment to post one’s license! Somebody needs to remind the mighty (mouse) USCG of that one!

f’ing pinheads!


[quote=captjacksparrow;10232]A brief rundown:

  1. The MMC will replace [B]ALL[/B] (repeat ALL) CG-issued licenses, endorsements, documents & STCW letters with a passport-like book. It will be phased in over a 5-year period starting April 15th of this year. [B]When you come up for renewal you’ll get it. You don’t have to get it before then.[/B]

I suspect for those of us that look to upgrade we will see it as well.


I guess that means that licensed officers will have to post their credentials on a new “credentials board” instead of the old license board.

A couple of years ago [Summer 2005] the USCG Marine Safety Center’s Proceedings Magazine had a nice feature on “Evolutionizing Mariner Licensing”. See:’lMaritC-Sum05FINAL.pdf?id=ee79d259e298b1162732437788cbbd834a58f79e

The article by Captain Robert Stanely Bates detailed how the actual issuance of licenses in the US has evolved. I found it interesting that licenses used to be prepared by local printers, and then via engravings by the Bureau of Engraving. Although the current issuance is by no means that extensive, it is at least aesthetically pleasing. And besides, if I really use my imagination, I can almost see why there is a $45 issuance fee.

The proposed new format does little more than help reduce the USCG’s workload in processing various documents. There is no benefit to the individual mariner, despite all the rhetoric. If anything, the new format fails to retain even a modicum of the history of the mariner’s license. Not to mention the pride any self respecting mariner has in displaying his “credentials” in an honorary fashion.

By the way, will we be removing our “credentials” from the “credential board” to get on and off at each port facility? That alone would cause more trouble to the individual mariner than the current system.


I have heard around the academy that the CG plans on allowing us to pay extra for a normal (read, full sized) license. I dont see any information supporting this.

Fact or Fiction?


Does anyone know why we even have to post our licenses in the first place? Foreign ships don’t do this - everything is just kept in a cabinet in the Master’s office, and if anybody wants to see it, he can get it out. There really is no need to post anything, is there?


I would have to say [B]fiction[/B], although they may change their minds if the heat gets turned up enough. It’s the very least that they could have offered as a reasonable compromise right from the start to avoid all the animosity.

To quote from the final rule, [I]“We received one comment asking that the Coast Guard make a certificate suitable-for-framing with the officer information printed on it, in addition to the final MMC. We disagree. While this was also the recommendation from Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), the Coast Guard has [B]decided[/B] not to produce such a document at this time since the rulemaking’s purpose is to consolidate credentials.”[/I]

[FONT=Melior][SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Forget, for the moment, that they’re completely blowing off MERPAC, which was expressing the desires of mariners nationwide directly to them. Apparently the Coast Guard, swamped as they are with half-completed or never-started regulatory projects, is implying that, rather than taking care of both of these very closely-related issues right now in one shot, it would be worth all the trouble of having to initiate a whole separate rule-making just to deal with this relatively tiny issue? Right! Sounds a lot like a recently departed president that infamously referred to himself as [I]“the decider.”[/I]


I’ll wait for your retraction in a month. We’ve been planning this thing for years, we will start issuing in April, the only major question is what to do with the bulk processing of one of the academies that graduates about the scheduled start date, are they going to be the last to get the old documents, or among the first for the new.


I believe the reply from the cadets in regards to the previous post would be…

“Whatever gets the job done the quickest!”

Despite the few shortcomings, I think this move by the CG is going to be a good one. I knew I wasn’t looking forward to carrying around a 3 ring binder in a briefcase everywhere with me. I’ve known too many people who have gotten the latter stolen with the former in it. MMC will help with that at least!